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Wisconsin utilities to close 1,100MW Columbia coal plant by end of 2024

February 03, 2021

Wisconsin Public Radio:

Madison-based Alliant Energy announced Tuesday it’s shuttering its roughly 1,100-megawatt coal plant in Columbia County by the end of 2024. The facility is the utility’s last remaining coal plant in Wisconsin.

The closure moves Alliant closer toward the company’s goal of eliminating coal from its power mix by 2040 and cutting carbon emissions 50 percent from 2005 levels by 2030. The move is expected to save ratepayers more than $250 million that would be spent to keep the plant running, said David de Leon, president of Alliant’s utility in Wisconsin.

Alliant announced a $900 million plan in May to add 675 megawatts of solar across six counties as part of a goal to add 1,000 megawatts of solar power by the end of 2023, which would power about 260,000 homes. Wisconsin Power and Light, Alliant’s utility in Wisconsin, anticipated its Clean Energy Blueprint would save customers between $2 billion and $6.5 billion over the next 35 years.

Alliant co-owns the coal plant with Wisconsin Public Service (WPS) and Madison Gas and Electric.

The retirement of the coal plant follows Alliant’s announcement last May to shut down its Edgewater coal plant in Sheboygan by the end of 2022. Alliant serves around 500,000 electric customers in Wisconsin and roughly 250,000 natural gas customers.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration reports the state’s coal-fired plants provided 42 percent of Wisconsin’s electricity in 2019, the first time coal made up less than half of Wisconsin’s power mix in more than 30 years.

[Danielle Kaeding]

More: Alliant Energy will shut down its last coal plant in Wisconsin

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